On Idling

You may think that being lazy and idling amount to pretty much the same thing, but nothing could be further from the truth. Laziness consists solely and simply of “not doing anything”, including, and indeed especially including, those things that you have an obligation or necessity to do. Idling, on the other hand, is a positive condition of “doing nothing”, a freely chosen leisure time activity once essential business has been taken care of. The trick here is to know what’s really essential, and not to worry about anything else you haven’t done. There’s always mañana. Rich idlers will of course have other people to do these things for them, leaving them more time to devote to being the idle rich.

So what does idling involve? Since you’re on holiday, a little light strolling is permitted, even encouraged, but nothing too strenuous. Advantage should be taken of any benches in quiet shady plazas and gardens for sitting and reflecting, or for advanced idlers, simply sitting. This may, of course, be extended to bars and cafes, but a word of warning for inexperienced idlers. While the enjoyment of a drink is part of the art of idling, the drink is also a prop or symbol. Excessive drinking and inebriation are frowned upon, especially if they lead to behaviour that interferes with the idling of others.

If you’re idling in unfamiliar surroundings it can be useful to have someone along to show you the best places and explain the local etiquette. I happen to have a lifetime’s experience in every aspect of the art of idling, and so if you’re in Seville I would be delighted to share my expertise and local knowledge with you.

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